Anchorage Landmarks & History
4 - 5 Authentic Food Tastings
Anchorage’s Historic True Crime Food Tour
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, our city was wild and dangerous — dive into Anchorage’s criminal history with a half-day food and drink tour like no other!
Alaska was flush with oil money from the pipeline being built, leading Anchorage to double in size in a short space of time. Working men poured into the city from all over the country.
Where people live in the fast lane with big paychecks, there are mobsters, prostitutes, bikers, and con artists looking to take their money. Lives suddenly seemed cheap, and blood was in the streets thanks to violent crime and serial killings. Honest men and women were rare, partying was a way of life — all normal for a boomtown in America.
Brothels, bars, various clubs, and gambling joints popped up overnight. Alcohol and drugs rained from the sky, fueling an already-raging fire. All this debauchery set the scene for some fascinating stories, and you can hear the dirty details on this half-day tour in Anchorage. This excursion explores the city’s seedy underbelly in the 1960s and early 1970s, with most attention focused on the notorious Spenard neighborhood — the epicenter of it all.
This Spenard True Crime Tour covers some of the history and people mentioned in Johnny’s Girl, the nationally acclaimed memoir by Kim M. Rich. This fascinating book tells the tale of an ordinary girl living an extraordinary childhood in Anchorage, AK, during this time period.
Kim’s father, John F. “Johnny” Rich, was a major player in the underworld of Anchorage, Alaska, in the 1960s. Her mother was Frances “Ginger” Rich, an exotic dancer and B-girl who suffered from mental illness. Kim’s father was brutally murdered when she was 15, a consequence of his lifestyle. This true story is the perfect companion piece for this Alaska food tour.
On this Anchorage half-day tour, we spend 3 hours walking this infamous neighborhood eating good food, having strong drinks, and learning the true crime history of the city’s underground. We then end our night with drinks at one of the most famous bars in Alaskan history.
This 21 and older Anchorage food tour is not for the faint of heart, children, or the pious. While we do talk about factual, true crime events, which were terrible, our guides do not go into graphic detail. Our goal is to maintain an accurate retelling of historical events tastefully and intriguingly.
For more information about this one-of-a-kind walking food and drink tour, please feel free to get in touch. To explore other parts of Alaska’s past and present, browse our full range of guided tours in Anchorage and the surrounding areas.
This tour includes stories and factual true crime events that some may find disturbing and/or shocking.
Half-Day Tour in Anchorage Highlights
Taste 4 - 5 dishes prepared by Alaskan chefs and get a sample of the best of what Anchorage’s culinary scene has to offer. Dishes may include fresh seafood, reindeer sausage, specialty desserts and more!
Get intrigued about the infamous Spenard neighborhood and the significant true crime events that shaped Anchorage!
Learn about Alaska and Anchorage history from a local, hear personal stories and amusing anecdotes of what it’s like growing up and living in Alaska.
Everybody’s welcome! Alaskan Footprints takes pride in welcoming all no matter their race, color, religion, sex (including, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, or disability*.
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Spenard, Anchorage Half-Day Tour Info
(A 6% processing fee is added at checkout by the booking software company)
Will be announced soon.
Will be announced soon.
This tour is offered Friday’s & Saturday’s
Minimum of 2, maximum of 9 guests per group
*Our tours generally meet the required minimum, but occasionally we must cancel or reschedule a tour if we don’t have enough guests to meet that minimum.
This tour includes stories that some may find disturbing. While we do talk about factual true crime events which were terrible, guides do not go into graphic detail. Our goal is to maintain an accurate retailing of historical events in a tasteful and intriguing manner.
21 and older
This tour is R rated, it is not suitable for children.
What to Expect on this Half-Day Tour in Anchorage
This tour kicks off when you join your local Alaskan guide at a meeting point in the Spenard neighborhood in Anchorage. They’ll take you on a 3-hour guided walking tour through the heart of the neighborhood at a relaxed pace, with plenty of tasty stops along the way.
During your tour, you’ll visit some of the best locally-owned and operated small businesses in Anchorage and have the opportunity to try a wide range of regional and local favorite foods, drinks and treats. From gourmet reindeer sausage and fresh seafood dishes to specialty handmade desserts and coffee, beer or wine, there’s something for every palate! All the while learning about the dark history of Anchorage in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
You’ll get a feel for the infamous Spenard neighborhood as you walk between the restaurants and shops we visit and each stop will last about 15 to 20 minutes. Rest assured as there’ll be plenty of chances to sit and relax as well. After soaking up the atmosphere of this one-of-a-kind city and neighborhood, picking up local insights and stories from your homegrown guide, and filling your bellies with local fare/drinks, this tour will finish just a few blocks away from the meeting point at a local eatery.
Things to Know About this Anchorage Half-Day Tour
*This tour requires moving on your own or with assistance (wheelchair) for 15 - 20 minutes at a time. Though seating at establishments is often available, it is not guaranteed. This tour is not suitable for guests who cannot move or stand on their own or with assistance for a period of 3 - 4 hours. People with hip problems, knee issues or other mobility problems should not take the tour.
We ask that guests arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their tour departure time.
Warning: We are not responsible for any food allergies or restrictions. If you have any, it is up to you to make sure that the food you eat on our tours doesn't trigger your allergies. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
Unfortunately, we are unable to cater to those with special dietary restrictions (e.g. vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc.). The locations we visit and food we offer change frequently and sometimes with little notice. This makes it extremely difficult to make sure alternatives are available.
This tour operates regardless of weather, except in the case that an extreme weather advisory has been issued by state or federal authorities, or an unforeseen circumstance beyond our control. Please be prepared for all weather conditions.
This tour contains potentially disturbing stories that include sexual assault, physical abuse, explicit language, and drug use. The stories are told as tastefully as possible and not in a graphic manner, but we do maintain historical accuracy. You may remove yourselves from the tour at any time if it proves to be triggering. However, no refunds will be issued if you decide to leave the tour.